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Brough gets plenty of help as O’Hara charges from gate

MARPLE — It was only one game.

The Cardinal O’Hara girls, just the same, are eager to see what tomorrow and the next day hold after inflicting a 24-0 loss on shell-shocked Bishop McDevitt in Catholic League softball Monday.

Winning pitcher Mary Pat Brough was overpowering. She fanned four of the nine batters she faced without surrendering a hit or walk in the abbreviated three-inning contest.

Gabby Levy, who drove in four runs with four hits and catcher Killeen McCans, who belted a grand slam supplied only a portion of the fireworks for the Lions, who batted around twice in a 14-run first inning.

No errors for the defense.

“Great start for us,’ Lions coach Bob Milliken said. “It’s a really enthusiastic, great new group coming through as far as our program is concerned and we’re really looking forward to the season.’

Inclement weather has set back spring sports teams throughout the area. The Lions thought they had it bad until getting a call from McDevitt.

“Their field isn’t ready,’ Milliken said. “They called us and asked if our field was ready, can we come and play here?’

The Lancers were so eager to play they technically were the home team. Batting last, obviously, wasn’t much of a help against the Lions.

The O’Hara field, by the way, had just become playable in the past couple days according to Milliken.

What the weather issues meant for both teams was a lot of indoor preparation — or hardly any at all.

A heck of a way for the Lions, who last year finished second in the Catholic League and were ousted in the semifinal round of the playoffs, to prepare to take the next big step.

“It’s nice to finally come out because we’ve had all these cancellations and indoor practices,’ McCans said. “It’s nice to finally come out and get to play a game with our bats and see what we can do on the field.’

The Lions’ scrimmage last week with Haverford was a help. But there’s nothing like league play to compare yourself now to where you were then.

“Going into this game we didn’t know what to expect from our team,’ said Levy, who drilled two doubles. “I think we played well. We did a good job. We came out strong. So we’ll see what the rest of the week brings.’

It’s a huge week for the Lions (1-0, 1-0), who oppose West Catholic Tuesday and take on defending Catholic League champion Archbishop Ryan Wednesday. One way or the other the Lions will know more about themselves and their title aspirations.

“They have the vibe, the girls have the vibe,’ Milliken said. “That’s very important. They bought into what we’re selling this year and it’s very important that they get into the mindset when they go into a game that there’s nobody they can’t beat.

“We’re really optimistic along with the girls.’

To get to where the Lions want to go they’ll need a big effort from Brough. Between innings Monday she kept throwing heat to McCans.

“I still got my pitching in, in a game instead of practice and that was good,’ Brough said before talking about taking the next step. “Definitely, I think we’re ready. We all are enthusiastic about it. We all want to take it. I think we’re ready.’

Early or not, Levy thinks the Lions’ reputation will precede them this season. And that’s a good thing.

“We have strong pitchers,’ Levy said. “That’s good. Our bats are big, so we’re doing well. I look forward to the season because I think we’re going to do well.

“O’Hara is a good team.’

The Lions might have to exercise a little more patience considering the weather report is sketchy the next few days.

“It’s so frustrating not being able to get out on the field,’ Milliken said. “We’ve only been out on the field maybe a half dozen times already. And this is one of them. To get the kids batting and playing defense the way they did today, that’s exactly what we needed.’

 

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